How to make your toddler brush teeth
Created by Dr Kunal Gupta Updated on Jul 16, 2021
Often parents are forced to deal with the situation where their children do not like brushing or resist brushing their teeth. This leaves parents disappointed and frustrated. Toddlers especially pose a challenge. How can we overcome such difficult situations and maintain good oral hygiene for our children. Read on to find out…
Be a role model
Become a role model for your child. Brush every day and night in front of your child to let them know that brushing is an essential part of our daily routine. You can dance or sing while brushing to make it a fun activity. Sometimes children perceive brushing as an unpleasant experience and may even develop a fear of brushing which can lead toa phobia for dental treatment later. To avoid this it is important for them to realize that it is an integral part of their daily routine.
A healthy family habit
Night time brushing can be practiced as a family activity. One parent can brush the other parent’s teeth. This will make the child understand that parents can brush their teeth. You can even let your child brush your teeth. Never skip brushing at night. This will make them realize that it is a daily ritual which cannot be skipped.
You can brush anywhere in the house. Notonly in the washroom. This will make the child realize that it is not a boring activity.
Brushing in front of the mirror makes your child develop this habit and also understand the process of brushing.
Choosing a toothbrush
For younger children, use a soft bristle toothbrush. The size of the toothbrush head should suit your child’s age. If a large sized toothbrush is chosen for a small child then it may hurt the child at the back of mouth. This could prompt your child to resist tooth brushing. Electric toothbrushes may be used for children but they should be used properly. The bristles of electric toothbrushes have their own motion; hence they should be kept on the surface of each tooth for few seconds. For an infant, a finger brush may be used till their molars start growing. A finger brush slides on the finger of a parent and help them brush their infants teeth easily.
To begin with, you could alsoforgo using toothpaste, as sometimes children do not like the taste of toothpaste. If the child does not like the taste, change the toothpaste or avoid it to begin with. You can gradually introduce the toothpaste.
A child less than 3 years old should use non-fluoride toothpastes like Pigeon, Chicco, MeeMee. This is because children of this age tend to swallow the toothpaste. Forchildren in the age group of 3-6 years,kids toothpaste may be used which has fluoride though in small quantities (450-500ppm). A child older than 6 years old can use regular fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is important for teeth as it makes enamel stronger and resistant to decay.
The parent can stand behind the child while toothbrushing, with the head of child resting on their parents chest or stomach. This way you can prevent the head movement of child while brushing. Parents should brush their children’s teeth till the age of 6 years. After that a child can brush his/ her teeththemselves under parents’ supervision till the age of 12 years. Parents’ supervision means that the parent should be watching child brush his/her teeth and guide them about proper movements of toothbrush and areas/ surfaces of the teeth to be brushed so that the child does not miss out any portion of the mouth. After the age of 12 years, a child can brush independently and unsupervised. A child should brush their teeth for 2-3 minutes. All the surfaces of all teeth should be brushed well. An hourglass timer may be used to time the duration.
Did you find Dr. Kunal Gupta’s tips on brushing useful? How do you get your young ones to brush their teeth? Do share your experiences and learnings with us in the comments section below. We love hearing from you!
| Jul 13, 2017
Our Expert, Dentist Dr Sonali Bassi, tell you how to go about it the easy way. https://www.parentcircle.com/article/how-to-teach-oral-hygiene-to-children/
| Aug 03, 2017
really very helpful information.... some time I get angry n irritate because whenever I try to brush her teeth she started crying very loudly n that time I feel very bad... but now I will try some different entertaining things so she also will enjoy n start brushing her teeth